BBA looks to defend state title on Saturday

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MANCHESTER — The Burr and Burton girls soccer team knows what it takes and they've been here before.

When BBA makes the near-three hour trip up to Burlington this morning for its game against Champlain Valley Union in the Division I state championship, they bring with them a sense of experience and confidence on the state's biggest stage.

Just last year, the Bulldogs were hoisting up the championship trophy after a double-overtime thriller against Colchester and the year before, they left Burlington in disappointment after a 2-1 loss to CVU.

BBA has felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the game they prepare to play this afternoon, so at this point all there is to do is play the game and see what happens.

Either way, they are ready.

The Bulldogs will have their biggest challenge of the season ahead of them in today's contest. The Redhawks come into the game undefeated and remain the last team to beat BBA, when they topped the Bulldogs 3-1 back on September 19 at Taylor Field in Manchester. BBA has won all of its last 11 games since that defeat.

As mentioned before, CVU is also the team that broke the Bulldogs' hearts just two years ago in the state title game, breaking up BBA's then-undefeated season with a defeat on the biggest stage.

The Redhawks come into today's contest after a tough 1-0 overtime battle with South Burlington Wednesday. Their previous two playoff matchups before the overtime game were won by scores of 11-0 and 7-0 respectively.

It's clear that CVU's offensive attack is one that will be tough to stop as the Redhawks have scored two or more goals in all but two contests this season. On top of that, they have scored five or more goals eights times.

If any defense could slow down CVU, it might just be this Bulldogs team. BBA's defense and goalkeeping has gotten hot at the right time as the Bulldogs have four consecutive shutouts to their name. They have 10 clean sheets on the season with senior goalkeeper Samantha Citron leading the way on the back end.

BBA has been paced offensively all season by sophomore Grace Pinkus, who has a team-high 19 goals. They've also had strong outputs from Hannah Pinkus (9 goals), Margaret Sullivan (6), Emily Bleakie (4) and Olivia Watanabe (4).

The state title game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Burlington High School.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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